Redefining app engagement with well planned and executed PR strategies

by | Apr 27, 2024 | Public Relations

There have been between 50,000 and 141,000 new apps on the Google Play Store every month since 2019. Clients range from individual users to big corporate brands, making the subscription app space incredibly competitive. But with the right PR strategy, even the most niche-focused brands can make a name for themselves.  

Take, for example, ADA, a popular healthcare app. The app is a perfect illustration of the effective use of blogs to enhance PR and app engagement. ADA created the ADA COVID-19 Guide at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The brand used that blog to share unique experiences and expert insights. Users came to trust and rely on the guide for all COVID-related advice and updates, which helped ADA foster relevant, impactful dialogue around the pandemic. So, how can new app developers leverage the same PR strategies for their own businesses? 

Understanding app engagement

App engagement is the depth of user interaction and the overall user experience on your app. It’s more than the extent to which users download & install the app.  

App engagement encompasses many factors. Among them are the average active user time, frequency of use, and number of user interactions.  Good app engagement manifests in positive feedback, social sharing & referrals, and high ratings.  

Note: The higher the engagement, the more successful and effective your app is.  

Key benefits of using PR for enhanced app engagement

When done right, PR builds and maintains a positive brand image for your app. Good PR strategies ensure that users feel at home while engaging with your app. That’s why effective PR is a guaranteed roadmap to high app engagement.  

Among other benefits, a good PR will lead to:  

  • Higher user retention and engagement  
  • More value for users over the long term  
  • Elevated user satisfaction 
  • A loyal user base with insightful feedback 
  • More positive word-of-mouth referrals  
  • Added app relevance in the competitive market 
  • A broader and more sustainable audience reach. 
  • Enhanced revenue potential through increased in-app purchases, ads, and premium subscriptions. 

3 proven PR strategies for app developers

You’re an app developer looking to improve user engagement with good PR. What’s the best way to get started? 

1. Build a positive brand image

Effective branding will build a positive image and identity in the minds of the app users. App branding is a complex structure of a variety of factors, including: 

  • Name uniqueness: The name should be inspiring, memorable, and unique. It should also align with the app’s functionality. 
  • Logo attractiveness: A good logo should be attractive for added brand popularity.  
  • App description: The description should be authentic, credible, comprehensive, and easy to comprehend.  
  • App icon: Make it unique and attractive. Make it easy for users to notice on the Google Play or the App Store.  
  • Font design & color: The font colors and design should be catchy and unique, giving users more reason to return to the app.  
  • Background appeal: An appealing background enhances user experience and retention. 
  • Brand slogan: A good slogan should be relevant, appealing, and inspiring to the target user.  

The above factors influence your app branding strategy. But there’s more to it. For an excellent mobile app branding strategy, you must keep the following in mind: 

Be mindful of the target user’s age, gender, intellect, lifestyle, etc. These factors should advise your choice of interface, colors, language, etc. Then, you should focus on user experience by making it painless for users to navigate through your app.  

Help should be within reach in case of technical issues. Failure to do that increases the likelihood of users uninstalling the app.  

Ultimately, your app should provide real value to users. This should keep them engaged and encourage them to recommend the app to others. In any case, give users a reason to keep returning to the app. In other words, reward users for interacting with the app. You can achieve this by introducing in-app challenges and bonuses. 

2. Engage through blogs

Blogs are not just an avenue for publishing your thoughts and opinions. They’re also powerful PR tools that you can use to enhance user engagement. A good blog can help you achieve most, if not all, of your communication goals.  

In our previous example, we talked about how ADA used blogs to engage its audience. By extension, doing so helped them to: 

  • Shape its online image and maintain a strong brand reputation.  
  • Attract new visitors to their website through search engines and social media. 
  • Build a long-lasting connection with its audience. This is how the company built its long list of loyal users, which has translated to more leads and a higher sales potential. 

To enhance PR and redefine user engagement with your blog, you need to: 

  • Create informative, engaging, and valuable content. 
  • Address the needs and interests of your target audience. 
  • Optimize your content for search engines and keywords.  
  • Include clear and compelling calls to action in all your blogs.  
  • Contribute guest posts to reputable industry blogs and publications. 
  • Offer incentives where possible, such as free ebooks and webinars. 

3. Leverage media coverage

Media coverage (both social and mainstream media) is a good PR strategy for app developers. It can help you build trust, credibility, and visibility for your app. This, in turn, boosts your app’s appeal, engagement, and retention.  

How can you leverage media coverage for good PR? Start by building a healthy relationship with influencers, journalists, and editors. To do this, you must first know the media outlets, influencers, and journalists you want to work with. These should be brands whose reputation aligns with or exceeds your reputation. 

Once you get an audience, pitch your story. Ensure that your pitch aligns with their interests, needs, and preferences. The pitch must be well-written and include your app’s key selling points. Ensure that your pitch is clear, concise, and bears accurate information. You can support the pitch with relevant quotes, data, images, or videos. Make it newsworthy. 

Whatever you do—own your content, own your reputation! Actively script and edit the marketing content you share with editors and influencers.  Don’t be pushy or demanding. Instead, be responsive, courteous, grateful, and polite during follow-ups. 

After the media covers your app, what happens next? How can you leverage that to increase user engagement? 

  • Good news is always worth sharing with existing users. Use email software like SendGrid to send emails in bulk. Leverage this awesome opportunity for users to brag to their family and friends. Inform them of the coverage and encourage them to spread the word. They will proudly tell their friends, “This is the awesome app I’ve been telling you about.” 
  • Include the press coverage on your website, social pages, emails, and ads. This is the social proof that your PR strategy needs. 
  • Use the publication as a conversation starter when networking. This is a great opportunity for your app to gain an upper hand in the industry.  

Wrapping up

Building good PR for a mobile app is quite a thoughtful process. It necessitates lots of attention across all levels- from app development to marketing. You must ensure that your brand image is positive and your blogs are helpful.  

Additionally, you must leverage social and mainstream media for marketing and social-proofing purposes. When you do all that right, you will significantly increase your app’s popularity and user attraction, retention, and engagement. Finally, always research and check your customers’ needs when designing your PR strategies.

Liam Bayford
Liam Bayford is a marketing analyst who loves sharing his experiences with a broader audience. Besides his marketing interests and skills, he also loves doing different crafts for his friends and relatives.